President Obama: Asia Trip Helped Usher in a New Era of American Engagement

By MichaelJames

Nov 21, 2009 6:01am

ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps and Lisa Chinn report:


President Obama hailed his recently concluded Asia trip a success, saying the trip helped to facilitate “a new era of American engagement.”


In his weekly address, taped earlier this week while in Seoul, South Korea, the president said that a major focus of the trip was to support and encourage economic recovery in the United States.


“As we emerge from the worst recession in generations, there is nothing more important than to do everything we can to get our economy moving again and put Americans back to work, and I will go anywhere to pursue that goal,” President Obama said. 


In facilitating the economic recovery, the president said that international trade is an important component.


“We … need to place a greater emphasis on exports that we can build, produce, and sell to other nations – exports that can help create new jobs at home and raise living standards throughout the world,” the president said. 


Furthermore, the president said that by increasing our exports to Asia by 5 percent, the U.S. could create hundreds of thousands of jobs.


Looking forward, President Obama pointed to a forum on job creation with U.S. business leaders on Dec. 3 as a continuation of his commitment to focus on job creation.


The president said that while progress has been made, there is more that remains to be done.


“I will not let up until businesses start hiring again, unemployed Americans start working again and we rebuild this economy stronger and more prosperous than it was before,” President Obama said.


Beyond this focus on jobs, the president highlighted progress made with China on environmental agreements.


“As the two largest consumers and producers of energy, we developed a host of new clean energy initiatives with China, and our two nations agreed to work toward a successful outcome at the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen – an outcome that leads to immediate action to reduce carbon pollution,” President Obama said.


On Tuesday, President and Mrs. Obama will host their first state dinner when Prime Minister Singh of India and his wife come to the White House for their first official visit.  Later in the week, the Obamas will celebrate Thanksgiving at the White House, and Michelle Obama will be presented with the official White House Christmas tree on Friday.


–Lisa Chinn and Jordyn Phelps

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